Cancer Home > CeeNU and Pregnancy

If a healthcare provider gives CeeNU (lomustine) to a pregnant woman, the benefits to the woman should outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child. However, this pregnancy Category D medicine is generally not recommended, as it can harm the fetus. Animal studies have shown that CeeNU may cause birth defects, toxicity, and other complications.

Can Pregnant Women Take CeeNU?

CeeNU® (lomustine) is a prescription chemotherapy medicine that belongs to a class of drugs called alkylating agents. It is considered a pregnancy Category D medicine, which means it may cause harm to an unborn child if used by a pregnant woman.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category D?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category D is a classification given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies of pregnant women but may still offer benefits that outweigh the risks the drug presents. A pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to her unborn child.
 
CeeNU has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. However, in animal studies, the medication caused birth defects when given to pregnant rats at doses equivalent to the usual recommended human dose. It was also toxic to developing embryos when given to pregnant rabbits.
 
CeeNU is generally not recommended for use in pregnant women. However, because it is approved to treat serious types of cancer, the medication may be used in a pregnant woman if safer treatment options are not available.
 
Women of childbearing potential should use a reliable form of birth control to avoid becoming pregnant during CeeNU treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control options for your particular situation.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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